Like John and Sean, George's son Dhani also had no idea about his father's past life until watching this film. As Dhani said: "I came home and I freaked out on my dad: 'Why didn't you tell me you were in The Beatles?' And he said, 'Oh, sorry. Probably should have told you that."
John Lennon's son Sean Lennon knew nothing about his father's former life among The Beatles, until he saw the movie at his babysitter's. When Sean asked, Lennon explained that he'd given up that life, to be with Sean and Yoko Ono.
This film underwent restoration work in 1998 for release in 1999. Since it was the original British version that was restored, American audiences finally got to see the five minutes of footage that had been missing in the original 85-minute U.S. version, including the "Hey Bulldog" sequence, which was deleted for unknown reasons.
With the closing song "All Together Now", the phrase itself is shown twenty-seven times in sixteen languages. The sequence: English, French, German, Spanish, Chinese, Italian, Hebrew, Greek, Swedish, Russian, Japanese, English, Greek, Italian, Dutch, Arabic, Spanish, Farsi, Swahili, Sanskrit, French, Hebrew, Swedish, Chinese, German, Japanese, English.
When the producers approached The Beatles about this film, the group, which hated the TV cartoon show of them (The Beatles (1965), also produced by Al Brodax and George Dunning), agreed to it only as an easy way of completing their movie contract. As such, they contributed only a few old songs and four quickly produced numbers: "Only a Northern Song", "Hey Bulldog", "All Together Now", and "It's All Too Much". However, when they saw the finished film, they were so impressed by it that they decided to appear in a short live action epilogue to the film.
Blue Meanies have six fingers on each hand. This is probably poking fun at the common practice among animators of dropping the pinkie finger when drawing hands, leaving the character with four fingers.
When the film was being restored for DVD, the producers obtained The Beatles' permission to remix the songs in order to produce a proper 5.1 music track. Engineer Peter Cobbin went back to The Beatles' original four-track work tapes and assembled true multi-track masters for each of the 15 songs, enabling him to achieve stereo effects and adding clarity that had never previously been possible. Many Beatles fans objected to this, although the surviving Beatles themselves reportedly approved the new mixes.
George comments "I know something about motors" when the submarine's stops working. As a matter of fact, George Harrison's brother was a mechanic, and George himself had worked as an apprentice electrician in his teens and planned to go into business with his brother.
Peter Batten was a deserter from the British army at the time of the creation of the film. In the final weeks of production he was arrested for desertion, and Paul Angelis had to finish voicing the part of George.
In 2012, Robert Zemeckis (who was set to do a 3-D computer animated remake of Yellow Submarine (1968)) said that he was no longer interested in remaking the film. He told Moviehole, "That would have been a great one to bring the Beatles back to life. But it's probably better not to be remade -- you're always behind the 8-ball when you do a remake".
The scene in which the boxing dinosaur is smoking a Cigar (it has a band) is a parody of the long-running series of ad for Hamlet Cigars. "Happiness is a cigar called Hamlet" was a long-running campaign for Hamlet Cigars, lasting until tobacco advertising on television was banned in the UK in 1991. Radio and television commercials used an excerpt from Johann Sebastian Bach's Air on the G String, which is still frequently associated with the brand.
In August 2009, Disney and Robert Zemeckis announced that they were planning a 3-D computer animated remake of Yellow Submarine (1968). Motion capture would be used as with Zemeckis' previous animated films The Polar Express (2004), Beowulf (2007), and A Christmas Carol (2009). Disney planned the film for a summer 2012 release to coincide with 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Disney and Apple Corps officially announced the remake at the inaugural D23 Expo the following month. Comedian Peter Serafinowicz was cast to voice Paul, Dean Lennox Kelly as John, Cary Elwes as George, and Adam Campbell as Ringo. California-based Beatles tribute band Fab Four was cast to do the motion capture performance for The Beatles. In May 2010, Disney shut down Zemeckis' digital film studio, ImageMovers Digital (where the film would have been produced) due to the successful yet unsatisfactory performance of A Christmas Carol (2009). In March 2011, Disney pulled the plug on the project due to the massive failure of Mars Needs Moms (2011). Criticism towards motion capture technology was also a factor.
The two football (soccer) teams depicted during "Eleanor Rigby" represent Liverpool's two top-flight teams, Liverpool in red and Everton in blue. Their two home stadiums are within easy walking distance of each other.
According to the book 'The 50 Greatest Movies Never Made' by Chris Gore, a sequel called 'Strawberry Fields Forever' was being worked on at one point. It was to be first computer-generated film ever (The honor eventually went to Toy Story (1995) however). The film was to utilize many songs from 'The Beatles' and although 10 minutes of test footage had been shot, to this day it has never been seen.
The trivia item below may give away important plot points.
When the Beatles sing to wake up the Lord Mayor who has been bonked by green apples, they repeat the phrase, "...time to rectify," which is a snippet from George Harrison's "Think for Yourself," a song on The Beatles' "Rubber Soul" album. The full line is, "The future still looks good / And you've got time to rectify all the things that you should."